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70's Punk - whats the ideal bass ?


dmccombe7

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Just curious what others think.

I've recently joined a 2nd band which is a 70's Punk covers band. 

I've tried few of my basses but haven't quite managed to get the sound i was looking for.  I'm trying to cover tone from mainly from a P sound thru to the biting Ric tone used by Eddie and Hot Rods 

So far i've tried :-

Fender PJ - not enough clarity but i find that with a lot of PJ style basses. Even on full P it never sounds like a proper P bass

Sandberg VM4 - could get away with it but not quite what i was looking for

Fender Geddy CIJ -was the most comfortable to play but took me ages to get the tone close to what i was looking for.

 

Using the Mesa Mpulse head into Subway 210/115 cabs.

 

The 2 basses I'm now thinking about are Ric 4003 which might work for both bands but are expensive and a Fender Vintera P bass which i tried a few yrs ago before covid and it did feel very comfortable.

 

Just curious what others think might be most suitable for mainly the punk covers band (yes i'm that shallow)

I'm a complete newbie when it comes to 70's punk as i've always been a rock / prog bassist.

Any advice would be welcome. 

 

Dave

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A PJ and a Ric should absolutely cover most of it. It's worth noting that a lot of punk bassists used transistor amps: HH, Peavey or even Acoustic if they could afford it. I would think the M-Pulse is a fairly versatile thing, but maybe it just isn't nasty enough. Personally I would crank up the mid level controls and then sweep the bands until I find something that seems appropriate. 

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Eddie and Hot Rods, now that rick has some history, the bass is now owned by my mate "Clarky" a member on here, im seeing him after as iv just fixed a truss rod for one of his other ricks so taking it round, al get him to post a pic of it 🙂

Edited by funkgod
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A P-bass was probably heard on most punk recordings of that era but, really, I think any bass would do fine if you just dial in a fairly aggressive tone at the amp. 
 

As Mike Watt always points out; “Punk was whatever we made it to be.”

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44 minutes ago, ZilchWoolham said:

A PJ and a Ric should absolutely cover most of it. It's worth noting that a lot of punk bassists used transistor amps: HH, Peavey or even Acoustic if they could afford it. I would think the M-Pulse is a fairly versatile thing, but maybe it just isn't nasty enough. Personally I would crank up the mid level controls and then sweep the bands until I find something that seems appropriate. 

That's exactly what i did at rehearsals to find something close. The Mpulse def has a warmer tone than a solid state amp but it has a para EQ section that i had never really used. Once i brought that into the mix it sharpened the tone a bit more.

Dave

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13 minutes ago, Jus Lukin said:

I think there will be a strong consensus here!

A Rick kicks out a hell of a punk tone but is very expensive and an acquired taste to play. A P can be had very easily and makes a very suitable noise- rounds with the tone up gives a good throaty clank, and rolled back for more of a pummeling pump, Dee Dee style! The 70's sound is often quite lo-fi, too; quite mid-focused, and I find that a sealed cab without a horn tends to shape the voice in an appropriate way for the mix. EQ can be used to roll off highs and deep lows while emphasising the mid range of course. Certainly, ultra-deep sub bass tends to detract from the punky punchiness.

Think i need to work on some of this. I hadn't given the cab horns much of a thought and maybe turning off would present a more suited tone.

Some good stuff there.

Dave

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42 minutes ago, Velarian said:

And a pick.

Tried a pick but just can't get used to it. I'm using my fingernails to catch the strings and the band are very pleased with what i'm doing. I generally have an aggressive attack using my fingers much like Geddy, probably due to the fact he has been a huge influence on my sound over the years.

Dave

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2 hours ago, funkgod said:

Eddie and Hot Rods, now that rick has some history, the bass is now owned by my mate "Clarky" a member on here, im seeing him after as iv just fixed a truss rod for one of his other ricks so taking it round, al get him to post a pic of it 🙂

 Here's the one in question .. Owned by Paul gray from around the last Rods album 78/79 through the damned black/album strawberries and into UFO .. It was a bass used just for studio/spare from what i gather and he owned it until early 2000's. I know the guy he sold it to and the receipts are from the guy who then bought it from him ...who sold it to me ... can be heard here if anyone cares

;) .... and not for sale... Ever ! as it's the best playing bass in the world ;) :)

pg1.jpg

pg2.jpg

pg3.jpg

pg receipt.jpg

pg4.jpg

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I think everyone has pretty much nailed it already, but I'll throw my 2 cents into the hat......

 

I'd look to get my hands on a grubby beaten up p, whack some aggy pups in it like EMG gzr, model P or SD quarter pounders, whack a sansamp bddi in your chain and grab a thick pick. Don't forget the snarl, gob on the front row and glass someone after the gig. You're all set!

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1 hour ago, dmccombe7 said:

Tried a pick but just can't get used to it. I'm using my fingernails to catch the strings and the band are very pleased with what i'm doing. I generally have an aggressive attack using my fingers much like Geddy, probably due to the fact he has been a huge influence on my sound over the years.

Dave

with a few exceptions, a P bass with round wounds, a long strap and a pick, finger players doing punk just isn't right YMMV

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18 minutes ago, PaulWarning said:

with a few exceptions, a P bass with round wounds, a long strap and a pick, finger players doing punk just isn't right YMMV

No choice for me regards the pick. I'm just not fast enough with a pick.

Altho its rare i've come across a few punk bands from that era using finger style. Agree the pick does look better and gives more hard attack but i'm using the edges of my nails to get that pick sound. 

Band have been going for circa 40 yrs apparently and at rehearsals are more than happy with the sound and playing. The guitarist formed the band in late 70's so there's been a lot of changes over the years.

Think he was surprised i agreed to do it as he knows me from the Glam Rock band but its a lot more enjoyable than i ever imagined. Band are all pretty good guys too.

I've even used some of your Bass Tabs Paul. Think it was Babylon's Burning. 

Dave

Edited by dmccombe7
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Precision

Roundwounds (age not that important)

Plectrum

Either boost the highs or not too many lows on the amp

Dig in

 

I used to set my amp so that it was slightly too quiet/no gain or drive when playing with a regular touch, once I dug in it would be loud enough and have the breakup I wanted

 

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Play the bass you like most, no punters will know the difference.

 

A Peavey or Kustom type amp set to cut through, and then the gain cranked to just before clipping.

HH, hartke 3500, SWR, Gallien Kreuger all get close enough. A smidge of overdrive if the result is too clean for the song.

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